CERT Advisory CA-2003-02 Double-Free Bug in CVS Server

From: CERT Advisory (cert-advisory@cert.org)
Date: 01/23/03

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    Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 18:56:11 -0500
    From: CERT Advisory <cert-advisory@cert.org>
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    CERT Advisory CA-2003-02 Double-Free Bug in CVS Server

       Original issue date: January 22, 2003
       Last revised: --
       Source: CERT/CC

       A complete revision history is at the end of this file.

    Systems Affected

         * Systems running CVS Home project versions of CVS prior to 1.11.5
         * Operating system distributions that provide CVS
         * Source code repositories managed by CVS
         * For detailed vendor status information, see VU#650937:



       A "double-free" vulnerability in the Concurrent Versions System (CVS)
       server could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker with read-only
       access to execute arbitrary code, alter program operation, read
       sensitive information, or cause a denial of service.

    I. Description

       CVS is a version control and collaboration system that is widely used
       by open-source software development projects. CVS is commonly
       configured to allow public, anonymous, read-only access via the

       The CVS server component contains a "double-free" vulnerability that
       can be triggered by a set of specially crafted directory requests.
       While processing these requests, an error-checking routine may attempt
       to free() the same memory reference more than once. Deallocating the
       already freed memory leads to heap corruption, which an attacker could
       leverage to execute arbitrary code, alter the logical operation of the
       CVS server program, or read sensitive information stored in memory. In
       most cases, heap corruption will result in a segmentation fault,
       causing a denial of service.

       The CVS server process is typically started by the Internet services
       daemon (inetd) and runs with root privileges. Arbitrary code inserted
       by an attacker would therefore run with root privileges.

       The CERT/CC is tracking this issue as VU#650937:


       This reference number corresponds to CVE candidate CAN-2002-0059:


       This issue was researched and reported by Stefan Esser of


    II. Impact

       Depending on configuration, operating system, and platform
       architecture, a remote attacker with anonymous, read-only access to a
       vulnerable CVS server could execute arbitrary code, alter the
       operation of the server program, read sensitive information, or cause
       a denial of service. There is also a significant secondary impact. An
       attacker who is able to compromise a CVS server could modify
       source-code repositories to contain Trojan horses, backdoors, or other
       malicious code.

    III. Solution

    Apply a patch or upgrade

       Apply the appropriate patch or upgrade as specified by your vendor.
       See Appendix A. below and the Systems Affected section of VU#650937
       for further information:


    Disable or restrict anonymous CVS access

       As a temporary solution until patches or upgrades can be applied, or
       to improve the security of CVS servers in the long term, consider the
       following workarounds and configurations:

         * Disable anonymous CVS server access completely.

         * Block or restrict access to CVS servers from untrusted hosts and
           networks. Anonymous access to CVS servers using :cvspserver: is
           typically provided on port 2401/tcp.

         * Configure CVS servers to run in restricted (chroot) environments.

         * Host CVS servers on single-purpose, secured systems.

       These workarounds and configurations are not complete solutions and
       will not prevent exploitation of this vulnerability. Other features
       inherent in CVS may give anonymous users the ability to gain shell

    Appendix A. Vendor Information

       This appendix contains information provided by vendors. When vendors
       report new information, this section is updated and the changes are
       noted in the revision history. If a vendor is not listed below, we
       have not received their comments. The Systems Affected section of
       VU#650937 contains additional vendor status information:



         Conectiva Linux is affected by this issue and updated packages are
         available at <ftp://atualizacoes.conectiva.com.br/>:
         An official announcement is pending and will show up in our updates
         website at <http://distro.conectiva.com.br/atualizacoes?idioma=en>

    Cray Inc.

         Cray Inc. supports CVS through their Cray Open Software (COS)
         package. COS 3.3 and earlier is vulnerable. A new CVS will be
         available shortly. Please contact your local Cray service
         representative if you need this new package.

    CVS Home

         CVS release 1.11.5 addresses this issue for CVS servers. CVS
         clients are not affected.


         Debian has updated their distribution with DSA 233.

         For the stable distribution (woody) this problem has been fixed in
         version 1.11.1p1debian-8.1.

         For the old stable distribution (potato) this problem has been
         fixed in version 1.10.7-9.2.

         For the unstable distribution (sid) this problem will be fixed


         SOURCE: Hewlett-Packard Company and Compaq Computer Corporation, a
         wholly-owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Company
         RE: x-reference SSRT3463
         Not Vulnerable:
         HP Tru64 UNIX
         HP NonStop Servers
         HP OpenVMS
         To report any security issue for any HP software products send
         email to <security-alert@hp.com>


         The AIX operating system does not ship with CVS. However, CVS is
         available for installation on AIX from the Linux Affinity Toolbox.

         CVS versions 1.11.1p1-2 and earlier are vulnerable to the issues
         discussed in CERT Vulnerability Note VU#650937 and any advisories
         which follow.

         Users are advised to download CVS 1.11.1p1-3 from:

         Please note that the above address was wrapped to two lines.

         CVS 1.11.1p1-3 contains the security fixes made in CVS 1.11.5 to
         address these issues.

         This software is offered on an "as-is" basis.

    Openwall GNU/*/Linux

         We don't yet re-distribute CVS in Openwall GNU/*/Linux. We do,
         however, provide public anonymous CVS access to a copy of our
         repository, hosted off a separate machine and in a chroot jail.
         This kind of vulnerabilities in CVS was expected, and our anoncvs
         setup is mostly resistant to them: read-only access to the
         repository is achieved primarily with the use of regular Unix
         permissions, not controls built into CVS. CVS LockDir option is
         used to direct CVS lock files to a separate directory tree,
         actually writable to the pseudo-user. Nevertheless, the anoncvs
         server has been upgraded to CVS 1.11.5 a few hours after it was

    Red Hat, Inc.

         Red Hat Linux and Red Hat Linux Advanced Server shipped with a cvs
         package vulnerable to these issues. New cvs packages are now
         available along with our advisory at the URLs below. Users of the
         Red Hat Network can update their systems using the 'up2date' tool.

         Red Hat Linux Advanced Server:


         Red Hat Linux:


    Sun Microsystems Inc.

         Sun does not include CVS with Solaris and therefore Solaris is not
         affected by this issue.

         Sun Linux, versions 5.0.3 and below, does ship with a vulnerable
         CVS package. Sun recommends that CVS services be disabled on
         affected Sun Linux systems until patches are available for this

         Sun will be publishing a Sun Alert for Sun Linux describing the
         patch information which will be available from:


    Appendix B. References

         * CERT/CC Vulnerability Note VU#650937 -
         * e-matters Advisory 01/2003 -


       This vulnerability was reported by Stefan Esser of e-matters.

       Author: Art Manion.

       This document is available from:

    CERT/CC Contact Information

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       Revision History

       January 22, 2003: Initial release

    Version: PGP 6.5.8

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